Revision: An Opportunity to Learn More

Here are some of my revision pages from the novel. I like to call revision “re-visioning.”

As often as I’ve traveled to Interlochen Center for the Arts since 2010, I’ve never seen northern Michigan in the fall. The book tour took me through Ann Arbor and Detroit in September, which was lovely, but still not quite “north” enough for my tastes. This October, however, I’ll get my first real dose of fall colors up north. I’d be lying if I didn’t confess my preference is still Alaska, but family and distance and life continue to prove to me that going north, rather than north and 5,000 miles west, may be my fate when it comes to seeker cooler climes.

All of which is to say, come join me in Michigan for a 10-hour weekend course in “Deep Revision” I’ll be teaching through Interlochen College of Creative Arts. This is open to fiction and nonfiction writers alike. My teaching style is to focus on concrete skills, explainable concepts, and useful (however also challenging) exercises that writers can take home and work with on their own. While I believe in the intuitive power of writing, I also believe that there are skills that can be taught and tools that can be passed along. If someone is going to give me an entire weekend from their life, I want to make it worthwhile. For these reasons, I’ll be teaching practical, take-away approaches that we’ll learn about in class, practice in class, reflect on, and then send you home with. I hope you’ll join me–spaces are already filling! Registration info is here, as well as the schedule. I’ll cut and paste the full course description below:

This 10-hour course is designed to empower writers with a variety of workable revision techniques to use when revising memoir, a collection of essays, or fiction of various lengths. Whether trying to revise a stand-alone chapter or considering the broader arc of your full manuscript, these techniques are graspable, effective, and empowering. For sentence-level revision, we’ll consider techniques that focus on verbs and filler words. For structural revision, we’ll study the balance of scene, summary, and reflection and offer “antidotes” to bring a piece of writing back into balance. For overall narrative arc and character development, we’ll study metaphor and what the instructor calls “the essential sentence.” Along the way, you’ll practice each technique using excerpts from your own work in progress. You’ll come away with a greater understanding of your strengths as a writer, as well as systematic tools to address areas for improvement. This course is most suitable to writers who have worked through a partial or complete first draft of a full manuscript, or who have a solid draft of a single chapter/essay/story they can apply our revision techniques to during class exercises. – See more at:

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